Consent Of Inaction

Yoshinaga-san chi no Gargoyle 10

Connex are goddamn bastards. This isn’t a transport rant, but I felt it was an appropriate opening in any case. I read this article at the start of the week and it made me realise how tolerant I’d been, when really I should have been screaming from the rooftops like the rest of the transport-minded crazies (ie Reuben :P).

The ticket inspectors are horrible, drunk on power, violent and abusive assholes! The worst thing is that I’ve seen this first hand and I just went along with it. Every morning at Melbourne Central they’re lined up at the gates ready and waiting to harass anyone who dares use a concession ticket (although they were notably missing after that story was published, oh just decided to take a day off out of nowhere huh? Tails between your legs like dogs!). I would take pleasure in haughtily waving it in their face while I was still using my concession card until it was revoked a couple months ago, not because I’m a super-bitch (that’s still up for debate yea?) but because of how rude they were when asking/forcing people to show it. And even though I knew it was fucked up enough for me to be bitchy about it, I didn’t register just how bad it was.

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We pay them good money! I spend 50bux a week on stupid train tickets, and for that I get squashed into a tiny overcrowded space, cancelled or late trains and on top of that harassed by the inspectors! Fucking bullshit. I’ve seen them walking casually through, plainclothes, acting like passengers then suddenly someone’s like ‘Now!’ and they rip out their badges, jump over seats and start chasing some punk kids like they were catching the crown jewel thieves or some shit. Its insane, its over-kill, its just wack.

So anyway (after that ridiculously long intro), this is what I’m feeling so bad about. A couple of weeks ago I was walking through Melb Cent with my full fare ticket, and I see about 5 inspectors have this lady up against the wall, and she’s crying and begging them to give her back her license, and they’re waving it above her, screaming at her and pushing her backwards. They were threatening her and mocking her, and the poor woman was hysterical. It was fucked up. And I looked at that and thought, ‘Yeop she probs forgot her concession card,’ and felt relieved that I had my full fare ticket so they couldn’t stop me at the gate anymore.

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I can’t believe I walked past that and did nothing! I’m an enabler. I just let them do that to her and walk on relieved I didn’t have to deal with them. Like it was perfectly fine that a group of men should gang up on a woman, make her cry and hold her up against the wall like she did anything worse than maybe not pay $5 on top of her existing ticket. Why oh why didn’t I go up to them and tell them to calm the fuck down? To stop pushing her and making her cry? I was too afraid they’d turn their wrath on me. That’s just weak, that’s not good enough.

There was a house on the corner of a couple of busy streets in my area that a family of Muslims moved into. And everyone saw them on their front lawn or packing their stuff into the house, the whole neighbourhood knew we had a new Muslim family. Anyway one day we drove past to see someone had spray painted on the front of their white house “Fuck you Muslims” or something equally as evil.

I felt so bad, every day it was still up I wanted to knock on their door with a welcome basket and ask them if I could help them repaint the wall, to show that they were actually welcome. And I kept thinking, I’ll do it tomorrow, I’ll do it the next day, until finally it was too late and they had repainted it themselves. I always regret that I let it go, I did nothing, and by doing nothing and keeping myself out of their business I had added to the problem. Silence is consent. Their house is up for sale and I don’t blame them for leaving. What a shitty neighbourhood.

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I vow to myself, never again will I let myself sit back and watch something terrible happen without lending a hand to stop it. I will not let people be treated like they have no rights, I have to find the courage to stand up for what’s right no matter what the cost is! I’m so disappointed in myself.

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10 Responses to “Consent Of Inaction”

  1. The Mutant Says:

    Sometimes it’s hard to know where to draw the line, where to step in and where to step aside. I often beat myself up over times I’ve done nothing, but wonder if perhaps at the end of the day I was doing the right thing after all.

    It’s hard to know – In a violent situation where you could simply end up getting hurt yourself maybe the best thing to do is not step in, but to call the police immediately (and out of ear-shot).

    While I do very much agree with your proposal, what I’m really trying to say is be careful. By the same token though, if more people were prepared to step in, I’m sure standover tactics like the ones you’ve mentioned would start to disappear.

    I vow to be more vocal if my voice can make a difference.

  2. j... Says:

    «A couple of weeks ago I was walking through Melb Cent with my full fare ticket, and I see about 5 inspectors have this lady up against the wall, and she’s crying and begging them to give her back her license, and they’re waving it above her, screaming at her and pushing her backwards. They were threatening her and mocking her, and the poor woman was hysterical.»

    i confess i know nothing about your country’s law, but

    isn’t that just plain illegal in every civilized place?

    here… if one loses, forgets or «forgets» his ticket, no big deal… name is taken, a fine is issued… up to 100x the price of the ticket. and let’s say this is applied quite seldom… mainly in reincident transgressors (ok, repeaters) who become known to inspectors…

    the kind of treatment you mention is “only” applied by the police to low lifes caught in flagrant delict…

    really, so strange a story

    what a shame :\

    (then there are all those smar ass campaigns «for the sake of all of us, the next generations, sustentability, the earth, jesus and all that… – «leave your car @ home, use public transportation!»)

    oh yea, guess tomorrow will go have coffee in the 8:32 😛

    my humble hommage to that lady… or just coz.. whatever oh i’m so sleepy. seeya fine nailed luli

  3. Domino Says:

    Holy shit that’s fucking insane! There should be an investigation or something into that!

    That graffiti thing just pisses me off, why are people so fucking stupid!

    But I agree with The Mutant on the be careful thing. Helpful hint: always have a large stick near you 🙂

  4. LuLi Says:

    Mutant Boi – Yeah you’re probably right, I shouldn’t just jump into anything recklessly, but try and do something that will help thats more discreet. If the situation is dangerous that is. And thanks for the vow of help too, yay solidarity!

    J – Apparently its not illegal if you have some kind of badge, the cops here don’t hesitate to throw punches either when they can get away with it. My dad used to get punched in the back of the head by police when he was out being a nuisance drunk, because you can’t see the bruise beneath the hair.

    Domino – I know right? How fkn evil! Racist bastards.

  5. Marty Says:

    There are ups and downs with this one. If you speak up for people who have no power, you are proving your worth as a person and it’s a very brave and honourable thing to do. These days anyone who tries to help anyone usually ends up copping it themselves (usually by being beaten up), so it’s getting more and more dangerous to lend a hand to someone in trouble. People are more separate now. There’s often no help coming from anywhere. I thnk about this subject too.

  6. Frog Says:

    I completely agree with what everyone has been saying. Those guys think they’ve got the right to do such things when they don’t it’s an over abuse of power…which they don’t even have!
    The Mutant has a point it’s best to be careful. I about a year ago, I stepped in to help a girl who was being harassed by her boyfriend, he was making an awful scene in the city and I swear he was about to hit me, if it weren’t some incredible gentlemen who helped me out, and calmed him down, i probably would’ve been hit and yelled at as well.

    As for the Muslim thing, I really hate those arrogant pricks who tell people to get out of “their country” those ignorant gits. Those bogans really get to me, makes me want to commit some serious assault on all of those people. Ugh i’m beginning to sound like them. In cases like that where you see that a family is being made unwelcome, then it’s best to step in and let them know they are welcome to you.

    Honestly it’s cases like these that really make me hate people.

  7. Reuben Says:

    Thanks for the mention, Lulu 😀 And yes, public transport is crap and is expected to be worst. The important thing to note is that it doesn’t have to be like this; we have the potential to have a world class public transport system on par with those overseas in Japan and Europe. But we don’t…

    What sort of fucktard writes that on someone’s house?

  8. LuLi Says:

    Marty – Its really easy to do nothing and walk on, but at the end of the day you’d probably feel worse for it. I think the right action is to calm the situation diplomatically and at least in that way you’re not increasing the violence and it stops? But even then, you’re right some ppl will continue to be abusive.

    Frog – We cant go rushing in guns blazing, but sometimes fear is the only thing that will stop a bully right? I don’t know. I agree on the racism thing, we were all immigrants once!

    Ruebs – haha no probs! Surely we can get our transport into order, many other countries have and we aren’t low on resources. People from my area are that retarded, I assure you.

  9. Lil Says:

    Quotation:
    “The world is not dangerous because of those who do harm but because of those who look at it without doing anything”
    Albert Einstein
    Sometimes all it takes is one voice, One person who is unafraid.

    “It is better to die on our feet, Than to live on our knees.”
    Pancho Villa

  10. LuLi Says:

    Nice quotes, Lil. The Einstein one in particular rings true of this situation. Since then I’ve been on the look out for ticket inspectors and their behaviour, ready to jump at them!

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